Winter in Illinois


Winter in Illinois

If you are a lover of winter you may not appreciate this post.  I was born in July and am a SUMMER girl at heart.  Down to my core.  I LOVE SUMMERTIME!  Ok you get it.

Winter in Illinois…

is so unpredictable.  I know its January and yes, we have had some winter fun.

My oldest son celebrated his 10th birthday -YES 10!!  How crazy is that?!

For his birthday we enjoyed a sledding party with a few of his friends.

This was the BEST party ever!  The kids sled down big hills, attempted snow boarding, had wrestling matches, snowball fights and were completely wore out when we got home!

It cost ZERO dollars, we got to be outdoors, and  no injuries occurred = WIN!!

When we left the hills we came back to the house for hot chocolate and cake.  The boys…we ALL had a great time!

That was at the beginning of January and while I enjoyed it, my idea of winter is like 6 weeks, so I am over it.  December 1st I welcome winter!  Snow makes all things magical at Christmastime.  In early January, I am ok with it…it is fun to have a snow day & go sledding, but I am pretty much over it after a week or 2.

Then what makes me super crazy is in Illinois we get crazy weather.  For example, yesterday it was 59 degrees.  I had the windows open, my kids played outside in short sleeved shirts and flip flops!!  We had sunshine & it was glorious!

Ask me about today…

Sunshine?  Nope.  Its a gray day.  The temps?  “Feels like” 19 was the temperature when I walked the kids to the bus stop this morning.  UGH.  AND we had snow flurries all morning.  Spring cant come soon enough.

So, how do I cope this time of year?  I love all things snuggly,

Braden, Stella & I snuggling…OH MY HEART!

AND I love to make a good soup!  My goal this year is to use my cookbooks more when meal planning and prepping.  For Christmas my family got me the cookbook “Skinnytaste – Fast and Slow” by Gina Homolka.  I fell in love with this soup and the best news?!  My family loved it too!  I hope it warms you up on a cold, dreary winter day!

Slow cooker Chicken Taco Chili – 

For the taco seasoning…combine the following in a small bowl and set aside:

1 1/2 TBSP cumin & chili powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder, onion powder & dried oregano

1/2 tsp sweet paprika & freshly ground pepper

1 tsp salt

For the Chili…in 5-6 qt slow cooker, combine the following:

8 oz tomato sauce, 15 oz can of black beans (rinsed & drained), 2 cups frozen corn, 2 10-ounce cans of diced tomatoes with chiles, 1 4-oz can diced green chiles, 1 small onion chopped and I added chicken broth (1-2 cups) because I wanted it more soupy, but if you want it more hearty skip it!  Stir in the taco seasoning then nestle 3 large chicken breasts on top and cover.  Another option is to add more beans.  My family isn’t a huge fan of beans so I know 1 can is ok…2 would be pushing it and whining would occur.  Not worth it.

Cook on high for 6 hours.  About 30 minutes before its done, remove chicken & shred.  Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir.

We garnished with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, fresh cilantro & crushed up tortilla chips.  YUM!  You could also serve over brown rice, top with avocado (I would love this but we didnt have any that day), sprinkle with shredded cheese or serve with cheese quesadillas.  There is so much flavor & its so easy!

**If prepared as the recipe above it is Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Freezer Friendly!


Chicken Taco Chili  photo credit


1 Corinthians 10:31

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”